Bayern midfield maestro Kroos mulls ‘possibility’ of Premier move
Player could hugely enhance present weekly salary of €84,000
Toni Kroos addresses the media during a press conference ahead of their Champions League tie against Arsenal.
Toni Kroos says that he considers a move to the Premier League to be a “possibility”, raising the hopes of Manchester United and his other suitors in England.
The Bayern Munich attacking midfielder, who is preparing for the Champions League last-16 second-leg tie against Arsenal at the Allianz Arena tonight, is locked in a contractual stand-off with Bayern.
His deal, worth about €84,000 a week, expires in the summer of next year and the German international maintains that he will assess his options at the end of the season, when he stands to become one of the most sought-after players on the market.
United manager David Moyes has put the 24-year-old at the top of his wish list, as he looks to strengthen after a terrible first season in charge at Old Trafford. But Kroos, rated among the world’s leading young players, can expect interest from every top Premier League club.
“It is no secret that the Premier League is a possibility for me,” said Kroos
. “But no one has come to any agreement with me and it will stay like this until the summer and, some time, a decision will be made. It is also no secret that the Premier League is not a bad league.
“I think I am a person where a lot is possible for me. But I have to think about this for myself to reach a complete decision.”
Kroos was asked whether he would consider a move to a team who were not in the Champions League – with United in mind. “I will consider everything,” he replied. “If I should leave.”
Kroos, who scored the opening goal in Bayern’s 2-0 win over Arsenal in London, is in a position to demand a massive pay rise. Honarary Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer has warned him not to “overplay his hand”. Beckenbauer said that no player is “indispensable”.
Bayern manager Pep Guardiola has no intention of losing Kroos and believes that he can improve further under him in the seasons ahead. “Toni is a great talent, a good player,” said Guardiola. “He’s young and he can be better and . . . for more seasons at this club.”
Bayern approach the return tie against Arsenal in irresistible form. They beat Wolfsburg 6-1 on Saturday to break a Bundesliga record with a 16th consecutive victory while the only defeats that they have suffered this season have felt inconsequential. They lost to Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s equivalent of the Community Shield and to Manchester City in the final tie of their Champions League group, although they still advanced as the winners of the section.
Bayern are chasing history, in the form of Germany’s first unbeaten Bundesliga season while they want to become the first club to retain the European Cup since Milan in 1990.
Bayern swept to the treble last season but Guardiola has turned them into an even more daunting proposition, partly because of his obsessive attention to detail.
Under Jupp Heynckes last time out, Bayern knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League at the same stage, having won the first leg 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium. They struggled for motivation in the return and lost 2-0 to advance only on away goals.
Guardiola is adamant that there will be no repeat of such sloppiness. “Winning 2-0 in London was a very good result for us but it is also dangerous,” said the former Barcelona manager. “We have to really focus on the game . . . and know what our strengths are.” Guardian Service